Shortly after the move to our new house, my hubby went up to the Midlands to collect my buggy. My uncle, who died two years ago, acquired this buggy to enable him to get out and about when he got Parkinson’s Disease, but eventually he became house-bound, and then bedridden, and the buggy remained in the garage. My aunt was more than happy for me to have it as she had no use for it, as long as we arranged for its removal.
After sitting idle for so long, the batteries were as dead as a doornail. Our local battery centre tried to revive them for us, but without success, so we had to buy new ones. They were expensive, but considering we got the buggy for nothing, we feel it was a very good price to pay!
Once my hubby’s Man Cave was completed, we had somewhere to keep it, and he could go and collect it for me. There is a power point for its charger by the electric door to the Man Cave, and it’s easy for me to drive it out, and go to the shops and out and about.
My hubby found an excellent bag on Ebay, that straps around the back of the seat, to put shopping and things in. Each side of the main bag is a tall narrow bag for my crutches, and it has reflective strips on it. There is a rather pathetic little basket on the front that could probably be improved upon, but it will do for now. I have also got a drink holder from Ebay which my hubby put on for me, and a license holder for when I get the road tax disc I shall need when I am super-confident and want to go on the road, at which time I will be permitted to flip the magic switch and up the maximum speed from 4 mph (fastest allowed for pavement use) to a blistering 8 mph!
I haven’t used it very much lately, mostly because the weather has been so atrocious, and also we have been very busy, and then very exhausted, after my dad’s death and organising the funeral. To start with, I was terrified of it and was sure I was either going to crash it, or fall off, or drive into someone’s car or worse… but the more times I use it, the more confident I am becoming. I am beginning to enjoy it, rather than having kittens every time I go out!
I didn’t post about it earlier because I wanted my hubby to take a photo of me on it, and today was the first opportunity we had! This afternoon he suggested that we went for a “walk” – he would do the walking and I’d drive the buggy. I suggested we went down to our nearest shopping centre of any size – we have a little street of local shops, but for the bank etc., I would need to go further afield. My hubby originally thought it would be too far for me, and I said I wanted to try it the first time with him beside me, in case I needed rescuing!!
It took us about 40 minutes to get there, and I reckon I could do it in much less time once I’m more confident and can go faster, and when I know the route so well that I don’t have to keep stopping to check! We went down one way, and returned another way, which was much less satisfactory because the pavements weren’t nearly as suitable – some were too narrow, necessitating my having to drive on the road. You have to try it out for yourself to see what is best, and although my hubby said the second route was shorter, when you are in the car, you are not aware of any buggy-related hazards, so I shall stick to the safer, longer route.
The only trouble with today’s outing was that it was so cold!! By the time we got back, my hands were freezing. The trouble is, since we moved, one of the things that I can’t immediately find is the bag of scarves, hats and gloves!
I am very impressed indeed that my beautiful buggy managed the whole trip, there and back, with no problem at all, and it didn’t even make a dent in the full battery charge that I set out with. It was also extremely comfortable and I didn’t feel any discomfort, sitting in it for so long.
I love the compactness of my gorgeous little personal car and the independence it gives me!
When the spring weather comes, I plan to go down one morning and do some shopping, have lunch and then return, making a day of it. There is a lovely little pedestrianised area with lots of characterful shops and a pleasant old-fashioned atmosphere. There are lots of little cafes with tables for eating outside. I even found a whole food shop where I can buy seeds for my bread making!
My hubby, who has a bus pass, is often out and about on the local bus these days – he has joined the local library and is always popping into town. He has discovered that a bus runs from near our local shops, to this shopping centre and beyond – stopping on its circuit at various places I would be interested in visiting. Now I am 60 I am also eligible for a bus pass, and as the local buses are wheelchair accessible, I could manage, but I couldn’t take the buggy. I need to see if I can make it on my own to and from the bus stop with the wheelchair – I think it may be too far. If I can manage it, the world will be my oyster, and I’ll be more independent than I’ve ever been since becoming disabled! My hubby says he will come with me to see how I get on, and push me home if I run out of steam!
Everything about our new home is working out so well. It’s a lovely neighbourhood – OK, a lot more built-up than we’ve been used to, but everything is so close at hand, with easy access to the shops etc. Having lived in the house for over three months now (I cannot believe it’s been that long! Time absolutely flies…) I am enjoying the renovations and adaptations to the full, and loving the fact that I can now do so much more for myself, without having to bother my hubby all the time. He has more pressures on his time these days, with all the extra driving he has to do now, and a lot of running around after Mum, and I want to try and guard what time he does have for himself, so that he can go off metal detecting, or boating with his buddies, without having me to worry about! The house is so easy to live in, and we love its somewhat quirky character, and the fact that so many original features are still present. Andy and his pals certainly did a most sympathetic restoration for us. I still can’t get over just how much we did last year, and how radically our circumstances have changed during that time. I just wish Dad were alive to see it all.